So today is the first day since surgery that I've felt enough like myself to write again. My last post on Friday wasn't all that coherent ...
Anyhow - things are OK right now. Last night was the longest night I've gone without the pain meds, 10 pm until we woke up this morning at about 8 am ... 10 hours. We've been trying to take them every 5 to 6 hours, so 10 is a lot. Getting down the stairs this morning not on the pain meds was pretty painful. I tried not to cry but I couldn't help it. I know that all this is pretty tough on Mike and the more I cry - I know the more it hurts him too. He's been amazing taking care of my drains and making sure I'm eating before I take meds - helping me change.
I pulled everything off yesterday to change - it looks pretty scary -- like squished water balloons. I have a few catheters running through my chest as well, more scary. And then the chemo port -- not only does that look scary, I think I can feel it in my artery - anytime I get to moving around and my heart starts beating faster than normal, things feel tight and I feel like there's a gagging sensation - it makes me think that's the catheter to the port. I know it's going to be scary the first time it gets used as well.
I knew this was going to be a long road ahead, but it didn't really set in until I saw myself for the first time. I'm scared to start the expansion - more pain. All and all - I'm scared at how much all of this is going to hurt. I fully understand now why some women don't go back for reconstruction. Just recovering from deconstruction is tough enough.
So the lymphscintigraphy - I walked in expecting a normal exam room and instead walked into an exam room that was 5 times the size of a regular one with a huge maching inside that looked like the MRI machines. Luckily I didn't get the needle through the nipple and instead, they injected very close to the tumor itself. It hurt, but not too bad. After injection, they sent me into the scanner to take pictures of the tracer in the injected site. They slid me out of the machine and we waited 15 minutes to take another image. It went on like that for about an hour, until they had all the pictures they needed to ensure that they knew which node was the sentinel.
The last thing I remember from surgery is being in pre-op. I was kissing Mike goodbye and then the nurse walked over, seeing my anxiety, and said "Here, I have something that will help you" and she injected something into the IV and that's the last image I have -- the last memory until waking up post-op. Since then - it was the hospital bed, peeing neon blue and green (from the radioactive tracer), nausea, emptying drains, trying not to forget to pick up my painbuster where ever I go, eating before meds, peeling of adhesive from all of the tape and EKG lines that were left on after surgery ... recovery, recovery, recovery.
My sister's clan arrives tomorrow afternoon. I'm excited to see them, but sad I can't pick up any of the kids. Tuesday we go for our post op appts. Hopefully the drains will be done by then, and I can get rid of all these tubes.
For now, my mom's going to try to wash my hair for the first time since Wednesday morning. I need it.